Wednesday 15th April 2020

The World Humanitarian Forum is a global call for action and a high-profile two-day event that brings together prominent leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as international thought leaders and pioneers from global aid and international development communities to engage in inspirational, thought-provoking, and future-focused dialogues which aim to shape the future of humanitarian aid and international development to help improving the lives of millions in need. This is an international knowledge exchange at the intersection of government, aid, development, future and innovation. 

WHF 2020’s special focus is changing the narrative under the theme of “From Hope to Possibility” with its motto “Shaping the Future for a Better Tomorrow”.

10:00 – 10:05
Opening And Welcome

Opening of WHF 2020.

10:05 - 10:30
Discussion On Shaping The Agenda For WHF 2020

Advisory Board Members:

Feraye Ozfescioglu, CEO World Humanitarian Forum

Rt. Hon. Jack Straw, Chair, World Humanitarian Forum Advisory Board

Richard Hawkes

Mark Astarita

Dr Mohan Kaul

Fatima Gailani

Nedal Juma

Neil Rodrigues

Charlie Bronks

10:30 – 10:45
High Level Keynote

From Hope to Possibility: Bridging the Gap

10:45 – 11:00
Fireside Chat

11:00 – 11:45
A Commitment: Leaving No One Behind

A Focus On Refugee Crisis:  Changing The Narrative

This session will address the issue of displacement and migration. It will highlight the current plight of economic migrants and refugees from Africa to Mexico. The panelists will discuss what's causing the migration and what we need to do to solve this. The discussion will cover government policies, role of NGOs, PPPs, the role of media and multilateral organisations like the UN. Are we doing enough to help those who are fleeing war torn nations? How can we change the narrative so that they are embraced and accepted, instead of being ill-treated and harmed? How can we engage the private sector to play a key role in tackling this challenge?

11:45 – 12:30
Bridging Between Hope And Possibility Through Women Empowerment

Gender Equality

It will take 108 years to close the gender gap. Did you know only 6 countries give women equal legal work rights as men? Shocking, isn't it? Why are we failing to achieve this? Our panelists will discuss what they have done to bridge this gap. What are the biggest challenges and how can we push the agenda from hope to possibility?

12:30 – 14:30
Thematic Sessions And Networking In Exhibitions

14:30 – 15:00
Youth: The Force That Will Turn Possibility Into Reality

By 2030, the target date for the sustainable development goals, it is projected that the number of youth in Africa will increase by 42 per cent to 321 million. This is expected to put additional pressure on the already strained education and health care services, housing and employment across the continent, raising the need for proper planning by the authorities. In this session we will discuss how we must harness the youth dividend to meet development goals.

15:00 – 15:15

15:15 – 15:45
From Funding To Finance: Inclusion Through Impact Investment

This session will focus on new models of impact investment in the development sector. There is a spending gap of about $1 trillion per year if even minimum service delivery standards necessary to meet the SDGs are to be met. Traditional funding models cannot help bridge the funding gap. We need to think of new ways and means to achieve this. Aid alone cannot be enough to help countries achieve their development agenda. The panelists will discuss new models such as blended finance impact bonds and public-private partnerships.

15:45 – 16:00

16:00 – 17:00
Changemaker Awards

The Changemaker Awards, are a set of awards that recognise the exceptional efforts of inspiring leaders, innovative initiatives and partnerships within the humanitarian industry. They provide merit to those who have provided smart solutions for global challenges. Since 2017, the awards have been given annually by the World Humanitarian Advisory Board. The third award ceremony in April 2019 was held at the launch of the World Humanitarian Forum in London. We are delighted to announce the launch of the Youth Changemaker Award at this year's event. The award recognises the exceptional efforts of inspiring 'under 30's' across the Humanitarian Aid and Development sectors.

Closing Remarks


17:00 – 17:30
Thematic Sessions And Networking In Exhibitions

17.30 – 19.30
Networking Reception

Thursday 16th April 2020

10:00 – 10:30
Fireside Chat

10:30 – 11:15
The Focus On Africa: A Case Study On "From Hope To Possibility And Even Reality"

Despite progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, Africa continues to lag behind most of the world when it comes to socioeconomic development.  More than half of the global poor (those who earn under $1.90 PPP per day) are found in Africa. One in three Africans is at risk of food insecurity. Progress requires poverty alleviation, ending starvation and malnutrition, implementing sustainable development and harnessing the demographic dividend. Heads of State will outline their vision, challenges and discuss policies that worked. Multilateral institutions will highlight the work they do to address the challenges and NGOs will share their case studies. Can the African Free Trade agreement help? 

11:15 – 11:30

11:30 – 12:15
Challenging Inequalities: Education

We are faced with inequality on various fronts - from gender to wealth and opportunities. In this session, we will focus on inequality in education and how we can bridge it. Can technology and PPPs play a role here?

12:15 – 14:00
Thematic Sessions And Networking In Exhibitions

14:00 – 14:15

14:15 – 15:00
Public-Private Partnerships: Is This "The" Solution?

In international development, the number of partnerships between the public and private sector (PPPs) has risen in recent years. But discussion around the efficacy of PPPs has become increasingly polarised. Panellists will discuss successful case studies and outline challenges.

15:00 – 15:30
The Role of Media In Changing The Narrative

15:30 – 16:30
Keynote Session: Changing The Humanitarian System

The world from which the humanitarian system emerged no longer exists.  Yet the institutions, incentives and mindsets of the post WWII liberal order continue to frame and dominate how the humanitarian system operates.  What type of humanitarian system would be effective in the future which is emerging around us?  What are the challenges in changing global systems?  What examples might give us hope? Is it hope or possibility? Where should we invest our energy and attention?  This panel will share insights and examples on a topic of existential importance.

16:30 – 16:45
Closing Remarks

Timeline and agenda are subject to change.





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